Previous Keynote Speakers

Professor Charles Cockell

Prof Charles CockellThe search for life and beyond the Earth

Professor of Astrobiology, University of Edinburgh

Charles Cockell is Professor of Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the UK Centre for Astrobiology. He received his first degree in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Bristol and his PhD (DPhil) from the University of Oxford in molecular biology.


He then undertook a National Research Council Associateship at the NASA Ames Research Centre in California before working at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge.

He moved to the Open University to take up a chair in Geomicrobiology in 2005. He sits on ESA's Planetary Protection and Life Sciences Working Groups. He is a Senior Editor of the journal, Astrobiology. Popular science books include 'Impossible Extinction' (CUP).

On Monday 12th November, Professor Charles Cockell gave us a fascinating explanation of how the study of life on the Earth can help us explore distant worlds, highlighting new findings in the field of astrobiology. The question 'is there life elsewhere in the universe?' has fascinated humanity since the ancient Greeks, yet until recently its answer has remained within the realms of speculation. The discovery of earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars and places within our own solar system that may be conducive to life has finally brought this question into the arena of empirical testing.

Year 12 Career Conference – Monday 12th November 2012